40 Funs Facts About Tenor Arturo Chacón Cruz

By David Salazar

Arturo Chacón Cruz is one of the major Mexican tenors setting the opera world on fire. On August 20, 1977, he turns 40, giving OperaWire a chance to look at 40 fun facts about the tenor, who is now entering his prime.

  1. He was born in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora.
  2. Chacón Cruz graduated from the Houston Grand Opera Studio…
  3. …and Boston University’s Opera Institute with a full scholarship…
  4. … and San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program.
  5. He made his Palacio de Bellas Artes debut in 1999, singing “III Gala Latina.”
  6. His main stage debut came in Verdi’s “La Traviata,” in the role of Marquis d’Obigny. That is when he realized he wanted to be an opera singer.
  7. Prior to that, Chacón Cruz disliked opera greatly and found it to be a “bore.”
  8. He met Plácido Domingo for the first time in 2000.
  9. Domingo encouraged Chacón-Cruz to become a tenor and awarded him with the Plácido Domingo Scholarship.
  10. He made his Carnegie Hall Debut in March 2002 performing in Mozart’s Coronation Mass.
  11. The tenor sang his first tenor role in Connecticut in 2002.
  12. His first tenor role was as Tamino in “The Magic Flute.”
  13. Chacón Cruz also sang the title role of “Idomeneo” that same year at Huntington Theatre in Boston.
  14. He made his San Francisco Symphony Debut in July 2004.
  15. He debuted with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in 2008 in Verdi’s “Requiem.”
  16. He made his Chinese debut in Beijing in 2010 in “La Traviata.”
  17. His La Scala debut came in 2012 in “Les Contes d’Hoffmann.”
  18. He made his Middle East Debut in 2015 under the baton of Zubin Mehta in “Carmen.”
  19. Chacón Cruz is the winner of the Antonio Davalos Award in Mexico’s Carlo Morelli Competition.
  20. He took first place and the Audience Choice Award at the 2003 Eleanor McCollum Competition in Houston Grand Opera.
  21. He won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in the New England Region.
  22. He won the Zarzuela Price in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia.
  23. He was also the recipient of the Ramón Vargas Opera Grant given by Vargas and Pro Ópera in Mexico.
  24. He was named Artist of the Year by El Imparcial Cultural Organization in his hometown of Hermosillo, Mexico in 2006.
  25. In 2013, he received the Alfonso Ortiz Tirado Medal in Mexico.
  26. He was the tenor of choice for Rolando Villazón’s directorial debut in “Werther” in 2011.
  27. His first recording came in 2008 when he appeared as Marcello di Bruges in Donizetti’s “Il duca d’Alba.”
  28. He appears as Christian in Plácido Domingo’s video recording of “Cyrano de Bergerac.”
  29. He is also featured in a number of selections from Renée Fleming’s “Verismo album.”
  30. His first solo CD was released in 2014 with Urtext Digital Classics and features the tenor singing Mexican songs with the Orquestra Filarmónica de Sonora.
  31. He also appears in the “Gianni Schicchi” DVD release from the LA Opera, featuring Plácido Domingo.
  32. He was invited to sing for former Mexican president Vicente Fox in 2003.
  33. He performed in the world premiere of Adamo’s “Lysistrata.”
  34. He has performed more roles by Verdi than any other composer – 13 in total.
  35. Among the Verdi operas that he has performed are such rarities as “I Due Foscari,” “Atilla,” “I Masnadieri,” “La Battaglia del Legnano,” and “Oberto.”
  36. He has performed the role of Faust in three different operas – Gounod’s “Faust,” Berlioz’s “La Damnation de Faust,” and Boito’s “Mefistofele.”
  37. He has never performed a Rossini opera, but he has sung in the “Stabat Mater.”
  38. He took the role of Manrico from “Il Trovatore” out of his repertoire despite being scheduled to take it on in 2016 because he didn’t feel ready to push forward into heavier repertoire.
  39. He had to strip fully for “Rigoletto” at the Aix-en-Provence in 2013.
  40. He quit a production of “La Vida Breve” because he was asked to do inappropriate sexual acts on stage.

Bonus: The tenor has done over 20 productions of “La Bohème” throughout his career and is closing in on 30.



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